Sunday, December 30, 2012

Artificial Fragrances and CF

When I was a senior in college I lived with three other girls in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. Two of these particular girls liked the house to smell good at all times. I don't mean they wanted the house void of all offensive smells, but they wanted our apartment to smell of flowers. They showered our carpets with this chemically floral scented powder so that the when vacuumed it would let off a very strong "floral" scent. Every closet had a fake air freshener to make the closet smell "sweet" and scented candles were almost always burning somewhere in the house. As someone who didn't even know carpet fragrance existed I was perplexed. If the house was clean there should not be any offensive smells and therefore fake fragrances weren't necessary, right? Why do so many people equate clean or nice smells with artificial chemicals that smell nothing like "clean" or "flowers"?

As I have gotten older and no longer live with roommates I have turned away from chemically induced fragrances. I never liked the way they made my lungs feel and my lungs have enough problems as it is! I can't even remember the last time I burned a scented candle. I found as someone with CF I don't  like the idea of filling my lungs and the air my family breathes with man made chemicals that are meant to smell "nice". Whether this is in an air freshener or a cleaning product, I wanted them out of my home.

One of the biggest offenders for me is bleach. A few years ago I cleaned a bathroom and spent the rest of the day feeling as if my lungs were on fire, literally on fire!! My poor husband (boyfriend at the time, that should have told me right there that he was a keeper!) became in charge of cleaning the bathroom shower as the ventilation wasn't very good in the first apartment we lived in and we both worried about my lungs being exposed to harsh bathroom cleaners. But then I worried about HIS lungs. I didn't want him spending an hour in a chemical haze cleaning the bathroom either. I turned to natural store bought cleaners and some homemade natural cleaners (think vinegar/water or baking soda) that were safe for all of us!

Although I liked my natural store bough cleaners I still wasn't sure how natural they really were or if it was all a marketing scheme  My homemade cleaners worked well enough, but not as well as the harsh chemicals and they took a lot more elbow grease which I wasn't thrilled about. It wasn't until recently that I became serious about making a complete change. After having my daughter I realized that everything I put into our home she has to breath with her tiny clean lungs. I also didn't want to worry about having strong chemicals on my hands while cleaning in case I needed to touch Kaylee or her little toys that go in her mouth on a regular basis . So thanks to Pinterest and natural bloggers I have now converted our home to a natural cleaning product home. This is my new favorite shower/bathroom cleaner that I found on several sites online (no way is this my original recipe...I seriously struggled through all 3 chemistry classes I had to take in college!)

It has two ingredients: Equal parts Blue Dawn and White Vinegar! Super easy and super effective. I sprayed the whole shower and left overnight. In the morning before Kaylee's bath I took a rag and wiped (WIPED, didn't scrub at all) and I was left with a beautiful shower and even the grout came out clean and free of any shower yuckiness! I wasn't worried about bathing her in the bath after cleaning because there were no strong and dangerous chemicals used. (Side note: Blue Dawn also works well on stripping cloth diapers so it is my new favorite dish soap!)

I am still on the hunt for a few more recipes. I have heard you can make your own dishwasher liquid, but haven't tried it yet and for some reason I am a little nervous to even try. I have also been wanting to make my own cloth diaper laundry soap, but I am a little nervous as cloth diapers are very finicky when it comes to laundry soap and I don't want to ruin my beautiful stash. Anyone else have natural cleaners they recommend?


  1. I clean EVERYTHING with this combo: a few drops of dish soap (it really doesn't matter what kind, though many recipes will tell you it does - I have used them all and they all work), about a cup of vinegar, and the rest of your spray bottle filled with warm water. It is AMAZING. I haven't been able to use commercial cleaners or even bleach & ammonia since I was a kid, and I can't do any artificial fragrances or anything like that either. But seriously, the vinegar/soap/water combo is amazing - it works better than most all-purpose sprays I have used! I used to clean a commercial laundry room @ an apartment complex and people always left nasty liquid detergent spills all over the washer. This spray could get it up in seconds - it cuts grease REALLY well.

    Also, I have to say: I don't recommend the homemade dishwasher stuff. I tried it and it literally took a month to get my dishwasher back to normal. I wish I could find a natural alternative that I still felt worked. I do use white vinegar as a rinse agent though (both in the rinse agent area and in teh bottom of my dishwasher with each load) and it helps a lot - we have hard water.

    I make me own laundry detergent with washing soda, borax, and laundry soap. I LOVE it but it's not CD safe. I did however find a few recipes I want to try with my CDs when baby comes... if you search 'Cloth diaper safe homemade detergent' you will find a few different peoples' takes on it. One of my friends says she uses soap nuts which she found somewhere really cheap and loves, but I haven't been able to find those very cheap.

    1. Good to know about the dishwasher. I have been nervous to try it and maybe you mentioned having issues with it before and that is why I have been scared!

      I have read a few recipes on a cloth diaper co-op I am part of, BUT cloth diapers are not cheap and I would hate to destroy them. Also, I think if you don't use cloth diaper detergent the resale value plummets. People usually want to know the detergent you used prior to buying (I don't blame them) and I think if I tell them that I made my detergent they will steer clear of my fluff!